Interpersonal Communication and Technology Essay


This assignment is designed to help you question: what is and isn’t interpersonal communication; what actually counts as qualitative communication between two or more people; and what the value of images are in place of words when we communicate with one another. During the first three lessons of the semester, we have discussed how humans create patterns of interaction together; how technology shape our understandings of self, other, and society (Lesson 1); the role of language in (re)producing these patterns (Lesson 2); how these patterns may relate to co-cultural connections and insights, and maybe even power and privilege (Lesson 3). Given that we make a lot of assumptions about the quality of our communication with others, our reliance on technology and even images, and how effective we are as communicators, this assignment will help us resituate our communication in the lens of qualitative interpersonal communication.


Using only emoji (but neither numerical ones nor bitmoji), gifs, and/or memes, your task is to communicate an important message (from a variety of example scenarios below) to a friend or family member via text messaging. You are not allowed to use any typed words, and you cannot call your friend or family member to explain this assignment to them before, as that defeats the whole purpose of it. You will also screenshot and share the images of your conversation and reference them as part of your writeup and analysis.

You should use one of the example scenarios I have created or that you springboard off of them. If you are not comfortable doing one of the scenarios, though, or if you can come up with something more fun, please feel free to create your own—but you must clear it through me first.

If you opt to create your own scenario, please think outside of the box, but please do not do anything that will harm another or that will damage a relationship.


Communicate that you’ve broken up with your partner/girlfriend/boyfriend and explain how it happened. Try to be as clear as possible about the break up.

Communicate that you’ve met someone new that you are interested in and explain how it happened. Explain what you like about this other person too. Try to be as clear as possible.

Communicate that you failed an exam in a specific class (e.g., Anatomy and Physiology, Japanese, South East Asian History). Clarify the grade you got and why you earned a poor grade, and see if the other person understands which class you actually did poorly in. Try to be as clear as possible.

Communicate that your car is broken down and that you need assistance. Try to explain what you think the problem is with your car (please, not flat tires!), and try to explain what kind of assistance you need. Try to be as clear as possible.

Communicate that you got a pet animal, explain what kind it is (and try to be as specific as possible in terms of size and breed), and tell the other person where you got it from. Try to be as clear as possible.

Communicate that you want to either go grocery shopping or that you want to go out to lunch or dinner. In either case, explain what you want to buy/eat and where you want to go. Try to get the other person to understand and to agree on a place to go and a time to go. Try to be as clear as possible.

Communicate that you got a new job, what it is, where it is, and when you start. Try to get the other person to understand what you job title is and what you are doing. Try to be as clear as possible.

Communicate that you won a race/game/activity and explain which race/game/activity you won (i.e., if you won a board game, you need to make sure the other person knows which one it was) and what your time was or how you won. Try to be as clear as possible.

Communicate that you are lost and you don’t know how to get to a certain destination. Try to get the other person to understand that you are lost and, if possible, to offer you help to get to a certain destination. Try to be as clear as possible.

Activity Guidelines

  • If you feel the conversation is potentially damaging your relationship with the person you are communicating, stop and tell them that it is for your class. You should not continue the activity at the peril of your friend or family member.
  • As soon as the interaction is over, tell the the person you were communicating with that this was an activity for class about communicating only in imagery.
  1. You must explain which scenario you chose; how difficult/easy the communication was; whether you were understood or not (and how you know you were understood if you believe you were); and how using only visual media helped or hindered your communication with the other person.
  2. You must apply at least one course concept from the first three weeks of class material (i.e., a minimum of at least three course concepts, each from a different lesson in your paper).
  3. You must clearly define the concept, correctly cite the concept, and offer an explanation in your own words of the concept.
  4. You must have a clear introduction, thesis, preview and conclusion.
  5. You must reference the conversation you had by linking it to specific images included in your post.
  6. You must address and apply the concepts to your life and not discuss them in a detached way.

Ask yourself:

  • Are these concepts addressed accurately? (Have I explained them well?)
  • Are these concepts addressed adequately? (Have I discussed the concepts in depth?)
  • Do these concepts appear interconnected as explained?
  • Do my examples and overall application of each concept make sense?
  • Does my post read well from beginning to end? (Have I made sure to check for grammatical and/or other proofreading errors?)
  • Did I correctly cite all class readings or interactive lecture notes using APA style?

Explanation & Answer length: 1000 words.

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